Music industry in numbers: From chart toppers to indie breakthroughs, here is how 2018 panned out
As 2018 comes to an end, here are some figures related to the Indian music business, the independent scene and the charts.
For me, the end of the year is all about numbers, both the musical and mathematical kind. The best-of lists and best-selling countdowns, along with the pleasant weather and the festive air, are among the reasons that December is my favourite month. Though I love to read them, I don’t usually compile an annual top ten albums list of my own. So instead, for my final column of 2018, I have put together a file of figures related to the three areas I have been writing about most frequently: the Indian music business, the independent scene and, of course, the charts.
The number of followers electronic music producer Nucleya has on Twitter, the highest for an Indian independent musician on a social media platform.
Number of Indian independent music albums or EPs that topped iTunes India’s all-genre chart in 2018: Vaaqif by The Local Train, Bol Na Ranti by Laxmi Bomb, The Emerging by Sutej Singh, cold/mess by Prateek Kuhad and Raah-E-Fakira by Swarathma, some of which benefited from an exclusive deal with Apple Music.
Total number of weeks Hindi film playback singers Alka Yagnik (eleven weeks), Kumar Sanu (one week) or Neha Kakkar (two weeks) were at No.1 on YouTube’s global Top Artists chart in 2018. The video streaming service launched charts for over 40 countries this year but surprisingly, India was not one of them.
Total number of weeks Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Ozuna was at No 1 on YouTube’s global Top Artists chart in 2018. Ozuna and his Colombian counterpart J Balvin (six weeks) put Latin music acts at the summit of the survey for over half the year.
Total number of weeks British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was at No 1 on YouTube’s global Top Artists chart in 2018. No other English-language act crowned the countdown for more than a week this year.
The rank of music label T-Series on the list of the most subscribed channels on YouTube. It’s expected to take over the top spot soon but not without a fight from the current incumbent.
The number of print magazines that cover Indian independent music. After Rolling Stone India ceased the publication of its print edition in July, The Score, only a few copies of which are distributed, became the only such magazine in circulation.
The rupee value of the Indian recorded music industry, according to trade organisation the Indian Music Industry.
The percentage of “recreations” or remakes among the ten most streamed tracks from films released in 2018 on JioSaavn this year: ‘Bom Diggy’, ‘Dil Chori’ and ‘Chhote Chhote Peg’ from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, ‘Dilbar’ from Satyameva Jayate and ‘Dekhte Dekhte’ from Batti Gul Meter Chalu. Also on the list but not from a movie is DJ Chetas’ remix of ‘Jab Koi Baat’ originally from Jurm (1990).
The total number of streams for ‘Bom Diggy’ from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, the top-ranked Hindi film song from 2018 on JioSaavn this year.
The total number of streams for ‘Buzz’ by Aastha Gill featuring Badshah, the top-ranked Indian pop song from 2018 on JioSaavn this year.
The total number of streams for ‘Friends’ by Marshmello featuring Anne-Marie, the top-ranked international song from 2018 on JioSaavn this year. Electronic music artists are among the most popular international acts in India.
The number of Monthly Active Users claimed by Gaana in December, which would make it the top music streaming service in India.
The number of acts who cancelled their appearances at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender music festival this year after the publication of a story about alleged sexual misconduct at the office of promoters Only Much Louder.
The number of acts who addressed the allegations at the flagship Pune edition of the festival in December.
The number of multi-day Indian music festivals featuring a substantial line-up of independent music acts that have been held for at least five years: Sunburn (2007), SulaFest (2008), NH7 Weekender (2009), Ziro (2013), Magnetic Fields (2013) and Vh1 Supersonic (2014).
The number of states in India in which K-Pop boy band BTS’s concert film Burn The Stage: The Movie was screened this November, a sign of the nationwide popularity of the South Korean genre and act.
The number of Indians nominated for a Grammy Awards this year: New York-based Falu Shah whose Falu’s Bazaar is up for Best Children’s Album.
Amit Gurbaxani is a Mumbai-based journalist who has been writing about music, specifically the country's independent scene, for nearly two decades. He tweets @TheGroovebox
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